One list five meals:


One list five meals:

Harissa Rubbed Chicken with Green Bean Salad

Serves 4

200g of natural yogurt

4 tbsp of harissa paste — I use a lovely one for The Real Olive Company

4 chicken thighs on the bone

2 onions, sliced

5 cloves of garlic, 4 left whole, 1 crushed

A bunch of rosemary, removed from the stalk

400g of green beans, topped and tailed

½ tbsp of white wine vinegar

1½ tbsp of good olive oil

A bunch of mint chopped

Zest of 1 lemon

Mix the yogurt and harissa paste together.

Rub the mixture all over the chicken and place into the fridge for at least a half an hour.

Place the onion and four cloves of garlic on a baking tray and set the chicken and any of the sauce on top of it.

Sprinkle with the rosemary and some seasoning and place into an oven heated to 200 degrees.

Bake until the chicken is cooked through — it should take about 25 minutes.

In the meantime, steam the beans until tender.

Soak the crushed clove of garlic in the vinegar for ten minutes and then whisk in the olive oil, mint and lemon zest, season to taste.

The acid in the vinegar will help take away that raw garlic taste.

Serve the beans alongside the chicken.

You can also add potatoes or a green salad if you wish.


Smoked Mackerel and Eggs

Serves 4

I made this with a random collection of ingredients leftover in my fridge and it ended up turning out really nice, so I decided to share it.

8 eggs

A dash of rapeseed oil

4 smoked mackerel fillets, skin removed and broken into four

4 flour tortillas

2 tbsp of red onion jam or relish

1 tbsp of goats cheese

A small bunch of parsley, chopped

Heat the oil and fry the eggs two at a time, depending on the size of your pan.

I keep mine runny so that the yolk acts like a sauce.

Towards the end of frying each pair of eggs I added the mackerel fillets to the pan to heat them up and crisp the outside a little.

Heat your tortillas and spoon a dessert spoon of onion jam onto each.

Top with the mackerel and then the two fried eggs.

Crumble the goats cheese on the top and season especially with black pepper and a sprinkling of parsley.

You could add some very finely sliced red chillies too, if you like a little kick.


Pancakes Stuffed with Asparagus

Serves 4

110g of flour

1 egg

275 mls of milk

A dash or two of rapeseed oil

24 spears of asparagus

½ tbsp of lemon juice and the zest from the lemon

1 tbsp of olive oil

A small handful of capers, rinsed and finely chopped

150g of feta cheese crumbled

Mix together the flour, egg and a little milk until you make a paste.

Add the rest of the milk slowly stirring it in so you do not get lumps.

Season and set aside in the fridge for about 20 minutes or longer.

You can make batter the day before if you wish and keep in the fridge over night.

Heat a dash of rapeseed oil and make sure it coats the entire pan.

Spoon about 2 tbsp of batter into the pan and swirl it all around so you have a thin layer covering the whole pan.

Cook until golden underneath, about 30 seconds. Flip it over and cook the other side until that is golden too.

Layer the pancakes on a plate and keep warm. Place another plate upside down over the warm pancakes to keep them moist.

Trim the asparagus and steam until soft.

Mix the lemon juice and zest, capers and oil, season well and toss the asparagus in the mixture.

Serve rolled up in the warm pancakes with the feta crumbled through the spears.

This is great with a thin slice of parma style ham as well.


Spaghetti with Lardons and Sage with a Parsley Salad

Serves 4

Spaghetti for 4

175g of smoked bacon lardons, you can cut up smoked rashers if lardons are not available

75 g of butter

A dash of olive oil

6 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped

A large handful of sage leaves

100g of cheddar cheese, finely grated

A bunch of parsley, roughly chopped

Salad leaves for 4

Vinaigrette dressing

Put your spaghetti onto boil in lightly salted water.

Drain it when it is cooked but still has a little bite.

In the meantime melt the butter in a pan and gently fry the garlic and bacon over a low heat until the bacon is turning golden.

Add the sage for the last few seconds of cooking.

Toss the drained pasta with the bacon, taste and season mainly with black pepper.

Sprinkle the pasta with the cheddar as you are serving it.

Toss the salad leaves and parsley in the dressing and serve on the side.


Beetroot Soup with Blue Cheese and Honey

Serves 4

A dash of olive oil

3 medium beetroot, diced

400g of tomatoes, halved

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and lightly crushed

1 red onions, sliced

400mls of stock

1 tsp of caraway seeds, toasted

Enough baguette for four people, toasted

4 slices of blue cheese

A small bowl of honey

Toss the beetroot, tomatoes, garlic and one of the chopped onions in a little oil and seasoning.

Roast in a medium oven for 20 minutes until the beetroot is beginning to soften.

In a large saucepan sauté the remaining onion until it is turning translucent.

Add the stock and the contents of the pan, making sure to scrape everything in.

Leave to bubble away on a gentle heat until the beetroot has completely softened.

It should only take about ten minutes.

Blitz the soup to the consistence of your like then taste and season it.

Serve the soup with a small bowl of honey, the slices of blue cheese and a small dish of caraway seeds so people can add a little as they wish to either the toasted baguette or the soup.

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Click and connect: 100 places in Munster to shop locally this Christmas


We want to help you to connect with the people you love, but may not see, this Christmas.  Every Saturday, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, we will publish your messages in print and online, starting November 28.

Say it here, in the Irish Examiner.